Could an antioxidant in berries increase life expectancy for people with Parkinson’s disease?


Author: Sarah McGrathPublished: 3 February 2022

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close up of woman hands with berries in glass bowl

People with Parkinson’s who consume more flavonoids – an antioxidant found in richly coloured foods such as berries and red wine – may have a higher life expectancy than those who do not, a study has suggested.

A team of researchers from universities in the US and Northern Ireland used data from more than 1,200 people with Parkinson’s. The participants, who’d had the condition for an average of 33 years, completed a questionnaire about their diet every four years.

During the follow-up period of the study, 944 participants died. The scientists found that men who consumed more flavonoids before diagnosis had a lower mortality risk, while a higher flavonoid consumption after diagnosis was linked to a lower mortality risk for participants regardless of gender.

Senior researcher Xiang Gao cautioned that the study does not prove flavonoids prolong Parkinson’s life expectancy. However, he explained, the results “provide further evidence regarding neuro-protective effects of fruit and vegetables.”

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